Seafarer centres around the world provide vital services for seafarers day in and day out. Here is just one example of the way a Mission to Seafarers centre in Australia helped a seafarer who suffered a life changing accident.
In July 2014 AB Mahesh Kumar lost his lower leg in a mooring accident in Port Hedland, Australia. Swift help came from paramedics and Mahesh was air lifted by a helicopter to the South Hedland hospital. In response to this terrible accident the Port Hedland Mission to Seafarers Chaplain, Garry South, attended the vessel within 3 hours of the event. Garry's exemplary help given to the ship's crew and master was very much appreciated. Garry's full attention was focused on Mahesh who was suffering severe post event depression that caused concern for his well-being. Garry carried out his duties by serving both Mahesh and the crew as he moved between hospital and ship.
After the ship had sailed Garry continued to visit Mahesh daily until he was repatriated some 10 days later. During this time Port Hedland MTS Senior Chaplain Alan Mower responded to the event and initiated a support fund for Mahesh via Facebook. The centre became aware of the significant ground swell of public awareness that Facebook generated as well as local port user and union responses. As a result, an amazing AUD$43,000 (US$38,000) was raised in just one month. This was an incredible amount coming from a small port community of some 15 to 20 thousand people.
On the 15 September both Chaplains Alan & Garry travelled to India to present the proceeds to Mahesh and his wife Sruthy. An event was held in the conference room of the Royal Bombay Seaman's Club and supported by the Honorary Secetary manager Capt Nairn Hiranandani and Assistant Manager Benjamin Rayappa. The event was attended by several clergy from the Bishops office & Cathedral, local union representatives, officials from the manning company Anglo Eastern Ship Management Capt Deepak Correa ( General Manager Bulk Pool) and Naresh Jagtiani ( Deputy GM Fleet HR). Several other Seaman's club officials and representatives from the local press also attended. Mahesh, wife Sruthy, brother Rajesh, and his Mother & Father were there to receive the funds. Approximately 20-30 in all attended the small ceremony.
Despite the significant amount raised by the fund, Mahesh will also receive a greater amount in compensation for the loss of limb. This will enable him and his wife to set up a small business that will secure the future of the family.
This is an example of how welfare workers and chaplains around the world go out of their way and beyond the call of duty to serve seafarers who need their help.